Nothing’s better than d-i-v-o-r-c-e when it comes to writing heartbreak country songs-or juicy memoirs, for that matter. Just ask the soon-to-be- retired host of Nashville Now, Ralph Emery, and his ex-wife, singer Skeeter Davis, about their 1960-64 marriage. In his 1992 best-seller, Memories: The Autobiography of Ralph Emery (and in his new follow-up, More Memories), the former deejay painted an unflattering picture of his ex. Now Davis tells her side of the story in Bus Fare to Kentucky: The Autobiography of Skeeter Davis. As with most old flames, they disagree on how it all happened: Emery: ”I didn’t want to be a kept man so I paid for all our household bills.” Davis: ”I was so proud of that $14,000 royalty check I had just received. Now it was being used as a down payment for a house I didn’t even want.”
Emery: ”I thought some of them (her family) were leeches. Skeeter let them take advantage.” Davis: ”He doesn’t mind that I pay for his child support, but he minds when I try to send a measly $30 to my own parents so that they will have heat this winter!”
Emery: ”My anger was compounded by my suspicion of a guitar player in her band. I couldn’t understand why they needed to talk so often.”
Davis: ”Ralph accused me of being with everybody from guitar players to agents to producers to my hairdresser. Male or female, it made no difference.”
Emery: ”I thought about including a chapter here, with a headline reading, ‘Things I Enjoyed About My Marriage to Skeeter Davis.’ I was going to leave the pages blank.” Davis: ”In terms of regrets, I feel there is perhaps only one: my marriage to Ralph Emery.”
Emery: ”There are few beings on this earth more loyal than some country music fans.” Davis: ”Ralph really couldn’t stand hillbilly music, or hillbillies, either.